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Today in Food Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for food manufacturing professionals

ConAgra To Expand Arkansas Facility

September 25, 2012 12:41 pm

ConAgra Foods Inc. said Monday that it is expanding its plant in Russellville, Ark., and will add more than 80 jobs. The food maker has operated in the Russellville area since 1965 and has approximately 1,350 employees there. ConAgra said it is investing $100 million to expand the plant to make Bertolli and P.F. Chang's frozen meals.


Iowa Dairy Workers Go On Strike

September 25, 2012 12:39 pm

About 300 workers at Anderson Erickson Dairy in Des Moines went on strike after voting to reject the company's latest contract offer. Des Moines Register reports Mike Klootwyk, the vice president of Teamsters Union Local 120, said the contract would have required workers to accept a pay freeze and to pay significantly more for health care insurance.


Pepsi Launches Soda With Stevia In Australia

September 25, 2012 12:37 pm

Pepsi is launching a reduced-calorie soda in Australia that uses stevia, the first time the beverage maker is using the natural sweetener in its namesake cola. The world's No. 2 soda company says that Pepsi Next in Australia has 30 percent fewer calories than regular. A representative for the company did not immediately know what other sweeteners are used in the drink.


Consumer Trends: Beverages Add Value At Restaurants

September 25, 2012 12:33 pm

Seven out of ten consumers (71 percent) now purchase beverages away from home twice a week or more often, up from 66 percent in 2010. As the economy stabilizes from the recession, restaurants and retail foodservice locations are well-positioned to boost beverage sales.


ConAgra Foods Supports Eliminating Hog Crates

September 25, 2012 9:56 am

ConAgra Foods is asking suppliers to eliminate the use of hog confinement crates over the next decade. The Omaha-based maker of Banquet, Healthy Choice and Chef Boyardee products joins several other food companies in calling on pork suppliers to stop confining pregnant sows.


South American Yogurt Maker Opens First U.S. Plant

September 25, 2012 9:54 am

A South American yogurt maker is marking the grand opening of an $18 million plant in western New York, its first in the United States. Executives of Alpina Foods, elected and state officials are expected for a ceremony Monday in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia.


French Vintners Want U.S. Chateaux Kept Out Of EU

September 25, 2012 9:52 am | by RAF CASERT,Associated Press

While French chateau bottles find their origins in wines made at the estate from grapes belonging to the chateau, the U.S. definition for export would use less stringent conditions on provenance. It could include grapes from "vines that have been traditionally used by this wine producer or producer group."


NYC Hospitals Cracking Down On Junk Food

September 25, 2012 9:49 am | by MEGHAN BARR and VERENA DOBNIK,Associated Press

In one of his latest health campaigns, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is aiming to banish sugary and fatty foods from both public and private hospitals. The cafeteria crackdown will ban deep fryers, make leafy green salads a mandatory option and allow only healthy snacks to be stocked near the cafeteria entrance and at cash registers.


Peanut Butter Recall Expands Beyond Trader Joe’s

September 25, 2012 9:46 am | by MARY CLARE JALONICK,Associated Press

A New Mexico-based company is recalling 76 types of peanut butter and almond butter after one of its products was linked to a salmonella outbreak at Trader Joe's groceries.Sunland Inc. recalled the products under multiple brand names after the FDA and the CDC linked 29 salmonella illnesses in 18 states to Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter.


Photo Of The Day: Whining Over Wine

September 25, 2012 9:43 am

Drinking a Bordeaux from a ''chateau'' is as French as apple pie is American. Now, Gallic tempers are flaring since the United States wants to sell some of their wines in the European Union with — sacrilege — a ''chateau'' label. Next week, EU experts will look whether it should permitted with a fight among member states set for later this year, well after the wine harvest.


South Korea Suspends Sales Of U.S. Rice

September 24, 2012 1:14 pm

South Korea has suspended bidding for U.S. rice imports after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Reports magazine found elevated levels of arsenic in rice. Seoul's Agriculture Ministry says it also suspended the sale of U.S. rice as of Friday. It says the sale and bidding may resume after more studies are conducted.


Trader Joe's Pulls Peanut Butter

September 24, 2012 1:11 pm

Trader Joe's is recalling its house brand of peanut butter over fears of possible salmonella contamination. The voluntary recall of Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter was announced Friday on the Monrovia-based company's website. No specific lot numbers are available.


Coca-Cola Completes $980M Juice Deal In Middle East

September 24, 2012 1:10 pm

The Coca-Cola Co. said Monday that it completed its $980 million deal to buy roughly half of one of the Middle East's biggest independent beverage companies. The world's biggest beverage company announced the deal to buy Saudi Arabia's Aujan Industries last year.


Woman Gets Life In Prison For Kraft Shooting

September 24, 2012 1:08 pm

A woman convicted of fatally shooting two co-workers at a Philadelphia food plant has been formally sentenced to life in prison. Earlier this month, a judge found Yvonne Hiller guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and other counts in the deaths of 47-year-old Tanya Wilson and 36-year-old LaTonya Brown.


Kellogg To Bring Cereal, Snacks To China

September 24, 2012 1:06 pm | by CANDICE CHOI,AP Food Industry Writer

The maker of Frosted Flakes, Pop-Tarts and Eggo waffles says that it formed a joint venture to sell its cereals and snacks in the country as early as next year. The breakfast giant says the deal will tap the infrastructure and local expertise of Wilmar International, a Singapore-based agribusiness, to expand its presence in China.


Consumer Trends: Natural Product Trends

September 24, 2012 1:02 pm

The 28th Natural Products Expo East was held at the Baltimore Convention Center, September 19 - 22, 2012 in Baltimore, Md., where a number of food companies received awards for packaging, food and innovation.


Wal-Mart To Open India Stores

September 24, 2012 10:02 am | by ERIKA KINETZ,AP Business Writer

Wal-Mart plans to open retail outlets in India in the next 12 to 18 months, the company said Friday, making it the first multinational to jump on the government's decision to open the country's huge retail market to foreign players. Raj Jain, the managing director of Bharti Wal-Mart confirmed by email that Wal-Mart plans to open stores that serve consumers over the next 18 months, but declined to say how many.


Hillshire Moves Away From Confining Stalls For Pigs

September 24, 2012 9:59 am

The Hillshire Brands Co. said Friday that it plans to stop buying pork from suppliers that use confining pens for pregnant sows. It joins a growing list of companies that are phasing out their ties to gestation stalls. Critics say are inhumane because they keep sows so tightly confined that they can spend most of their lives and multiple pregnancies with too little space to turn around or even sleep on their sides.


Czechs Turn To Homemade Booze After Sales Ban

September 24, 2012 9:58 am | by KAREL JANICEK,Associated Press

Authorities say a thriving black market in the country's northeastern region is to blame for lacing vodka and rum with methanol to stretch volume and increase profit margins. More than two dozen people have been arrested and police have seized thousands of liters of tainted and suspicious alcohol.


Audit: Ga. Food Companies Not Testing For Contaminants

September 24, 2012 9:56 am | by RAY HENRY,Associated Press

Food manufacturers in Georgia may be dodging a first-of-its-kind law requiring that they inform state food inspectors when their products test positive for contamination, according to an audit of the state's food inspection service. An audit released this summer offers a combination of anecdotal and statistical evidence suggesting the so-called "red flag law" was not strictly followed after it was implemented in 2010.



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